Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 Response Initiative Report

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COVID-19 Response Initiative Impact Report

The Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 Response Initiative was launched in 2020 as an extension of Unreasonable Impact, the unique multi-year partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable Group supporting growthstage entrepreneurs across the world who are solving the world’s most pressing issues. Within months, the initiative was flooded with applications coming from the entire Unreasonable portfolio of companies. By summer’s end, $2 million USD was awarded in grants to 23 Unreasonable ventures that had pivoted their businesses to combat challenges related to the pandemic. The objective of the Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 Response Initiative was not only to recognize the innovation and speed at which these companies mobilized, but also to catalyze even greater impact. It connected these entrepreneurs with Barclays leaders and Unreasonable mentors across a series of Braintrusts around the world to help them further their efforts. Grant recipients presented their work during two virtual Exclusive Summits reaching more than 2,000 viewers. External media coverage in publications such as Forbes and Maddyness, and a campaign in partnership with the Atlantic, helped to raise the profile of these companies and bring more awareness to their work. These entrepreneurs have tackled the incredible challenges posed by COVID-19 and turned them into opportunities that not only address the immediate consequences of the pandemic, but also move us into a greener and greater future.

Through the work of these 23 Unreasonable ventures, the COVID-19 Response Initiative has...







COVID-19 Response Initiative Engagement

2,060 unique event viewers 459 commitments & offers of help 121 attendees across 10 Braintrusts 59,338 unique visitors to The Atlantic media campaign


Meet the 23 Ventures

These 23 grant recipients represent some of the most compelling and effective solutions we’ve seen to combat the challenges related to the pandemic. The six case studies in this report provide a sample of the solutions and innovation that these companies bring to their local communities and the world. Contact us to learn more.

Unreasonable Impact Asia Pacific 2018

eFishery COVID-19 impacted fish farmers who saw their demand significantly decrease as restaurants and food vendors closed. At a time when most farmers did not know how and where to sell their catch, eFishery stepped in to rescue over 350 tons of local farmers’ fish harvests and expanded into the frozen food industry, preventing hundreds of households from going bankrupt. In addition to sustaining local fish farmers’ business, eFishery donated nutritious food to communities in need, partnered with local NGOs and government officials in Indonesia to distribute more than 30 tons of frozen fish to health workers and communities heavily impacted by the global pandemic (including low-income and unemployed populations, students and educators, and patients isolated in hospitals). As a result of the grant, eFishery estimates they were able to provide food to over 20,000 people in need.

Unreasonable Impact UK & Europe 2018

OLIO OLIO’s food-sharing app has turned into a vital mutualaid tool for communities during COVID-19, addressing food insecurity in the UK. Activity on their app has surged as people rescued and distributed food from businesses and cooked for each other, filling in the hunger gaps previously met through programs, like free school meals that were suspended during lockdowns. With the COVID-19 Response Initiative grant, they ran their first ever TV campaign to take OLIO’s “Share More, Care More, Waste Less” message to a broader audience. The campaign resulted in 30,000 new members on their app, and an increase of 208 tons more food being saved than before from over 190,000 more listings.

Unreasonable Impact Asia Pacific 2017

Richcore Lifesciences Until recently, the two key enzymes needed for COVID-19 RT-PCR test kits were only produced by a handful of companies in the world, resulting in supply and logistics constraints when mass scale testing would be needed at a moment’s notice. With the COVID-19 Response Initiative grant, Richcore embarked on a project to produce the key enzymes at scale, offering them free of cost to all kit manufacturers that faced a shortage or were unable to source these enzymes efficiently. By offering these enzymes at no cost, kit manufacturers were able to keep their kit costs low and expand access to test kits to many low-income families. Richcore estimates that 5 to 6 million RT-PCR test kits were developed using their enzymes, leading to mass testing of more than 4 million people across four countries and the creation of over 200 testing-related jobs.

Unreasonable Impact Americas 2017

AeroFarms AeroFarms are helping scientists use lettuce, grown in their indoor vertical farms, to create plant-based therapeutics that act as a vaccine booster for COVID-19. They have partnered with research institutions to identify plants that have a higher protein expression for a therapeutic that could make COVID-19 vaccines more effective. The COVID-19 Response Initiative grant allowed AeroFarms to grow over 500 of these plants in support of a clinical trial for this booster. They were able to collect valuable data that can inform conditions for future large scale growing of the therapeutic. Once trials are complete, AeroFarms will modify one of their growing facilities and have the capacity to produce up to 30 million vaccine boosters per month. This quick turnaround time will revolutionize vaccine access and help address some of the challenges of mass vaccine production capacity.

Unreasonable Impact UK & Europe 2018

Globechain Drawing on experience as the world’s largest reuse marketplace, Globechain used the COVID-19 Response Initiative grant to develop end-to-end distribution of PPE and other medical equipment. They launched a campaign to help redistribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from corporates to the National Health Service (NHS) and other health services across the UK, Spain, Lebanon, and West Africa. By incorporating a transparent, yet secure and immutable method of asset tracking into the Globechain reuse marketplace, they ensure that muchneeded supplies are sourced, validated and distributed to the right hands. So far, their COVID-19 projects in Europe and Africa have impacted over 5,000 lives with more than 30,000kg of equipment being distributed.

Unreasonable Impact Americas 2018

SOURCE Global SOURCE Global provided clean drinking water to 20 Navajo families, allowing them to safely shelter in place and remain protected from COVID-19. It’s estimated that one-third of Navajo families live without running water in their homes. The COVID-19 Response Initiative grant allowed SOURCE Global to provide a water source to these families for the next 15 years, saving them in total over $200,000 in water costs and producing over 86,000 gallons of water for the community, while avoiding an estimated 657,000 plastic water bottles from being consumed. The success of the initiative has resulted in a further contract with the Navajo Department of Natural Resources to provide water systems to 500 additional Navajo families.

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